100 Hours of Astronomy and Strategic Issues Management Group worked with Firehouse to produce a short program on The Large Binocular Telescope (L.B.T.). The “L.B.T.” Weighs In at 600 tons of engineering perfection atop Mt. Graham. The “L.B.T.” was one of 80 telescopes around the world participating in the event, which was web-cast over 100 hours on April 2-5.
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The “LBT” Goes Up Mt. Graham
The world’s most powerful optical telescope is now operating on southeastern Arizona’s Mount Graham, capturing striking images of objects millions of light years away.
- The world’s most powerful optical telescope is now operating on south-eastern Arizona’s Mount Graham, capturing striking images of objects millions of light years away.
- The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) gathers more light than the Hubble Space Telescope and has 10 times the resolution.
- It took its first images late last year. But only now have pictures taken by the LBT been released – taken in January using both of its 27ft-diameter mirrors.
- Showing a spiral galaxy – romantically named NGC 2770 – which is located 102 million light years away from our own Milky Way. Colour analysis reveals the temperatures of the millions of stars suspended in the flat disc of glowing gas.
Huge telescopes already exist which operate in parts of the spectrum invisible to the human eye – from low-frequency radio waves beyond infrared to high-frequency gamma rays beyond ultraviolet – but no traditional optical telescope is more powerful than the LBT.
- The telescope is the $120 million crown jewel of the University of Arizona’s Mount Graham International Observatory and has been 20 years in the making.
- It is the third telescope to be built on top of the 10,500ft peak, joining the Heinrich-Hertz Submillimeter Telescope and the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope.
- The LBT has been partly operational since 12 October 2005 when a single mirror was used to observe a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda.
- But with the unprecedented power afforded by its double-mirror configuration, the new device should allow astronomers to probe the universe further back in time and in more detail than ever before.
- Its two 27ft mirrors give its the equivalent light-gathering capacity of a single 39ft instrument and the resolution of a 75ft telescope.
“The images that this telescope will produce will be like none seen before,” said Professor Peter Strittmatter of the University of Arizona.
First Picture From 102 Light Years Away ~ Galaxy NGC 2770!
Seeing double: Two 27ft mirrors make the LBT as powerful as a single 39ft instrument
Weird & Its Happening!
The latest breeding ground for anti-Catholic hate speech.
Vatican Names New Telescope “Lucifer”?
Lately I have been spending a fair amount of time in this dark world of face book attempting to dispel the myths and false accusations against the Church. One of the pages I frequented until they banned me was called “Catholics Are Not Christians” and “Catholicism is a Cult.” That’s where this title is from. “Vatican Names New Telescope “Lucifer”!
Samples Of Anti-Catholic posts with contorted videos.
Here’s A Whopper Video: NASA and The Vatican’s Infrared Telescope Called (LUCIFER) PT 1 Both NASA & The Vatican have nothing to do with the LBT or what is being dubbed by smear sites as LUCIFER. The video is disjointed, strained, elaborately deceptive, & almost laughable.
These two face book groups are created by a fundamentalist businessman from Alpharetta, Georgia and his two sons. He was unwise enough to use his full name on the page and a few clicks on Google revealed his “off-line” business and location. To say they are anti-Catholic would be a gross understatement. I have yet to see this degree of vitriol and vile spewed out against the bride of Christ. They uses images of the KKK and Nazi Germany in an attempt to foment hatred towards the Church. They also circulate 100 year old “stories” that have been published in this country in the 1800-1900’s in many newspapers, that were fabrications aimed at demeaning the Church. The story of Maria Monk is one and Chalotte Heckler another. Both proven many times over as complete fabrications.
One of the latest rumors that this businessman who is circulating is that the Vatican has constructed a brand new hi-tech telescope in Arizona that they named Lucifer. This telescope is run by Jesuits (cue the mysterious eeeevil music here) and to top this off, it is all built on an ancient Indian burial ground.(Actually, most of Arizona is an Indian burial ground but I digress) Mr Farris is trying to say that these evil Jesuits have purposely named the telescope after Satan because, well after all, everyone knows they are satanists, right? No!
After a few more clicks with Google, turns out none of this is true. The Vatican Observatory Foundation (VATT) has owned a telescope on Mount Graham in Arizona since the 1980’s. It is one of the few places left on earth that doesn’t have too much light pollution and perfectly low humidity to operate one of these fancy telescopes which detect infra-red frequencies. Their telescope is called VATT.
Recently a consortium of astronomers from Germany, Italy and the US constructed a new and different telescope using a special hi-tech camera dubbed LUCIFER. It’s name is an acronym for: Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research. These astronomers have no connection to the Vatican.
The only possible connection is that they share the top of Mount Graham, where many other groups have observatories located because of the desirable characteristics mentioned above.
How about the Jesuit connection? They always seem to show up in the Jack Chick comic books and internet legends like these. The poor Jesuits! Turns out, that the director of the Vatican Observatory is a PhD astronomer who is on staff at the University of Arizona. No relationship to the LUCIFER Telescope. Darn!
Why did I even bother? Well, I hope and believe there is still some goodness left in these people and appealing to that goodness may reach them. By showing them the falsity of these stories, perhaps they will at least agree to not perpetuate lies. But then again, maybe I’m wrong.
Just to document to my readers, I didn’t fabricate my story, I wrote to one of the scientist listed on the LUCIFER web page site and this is our correspondence.
From: russ rentler <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 18:25:53 -0400
To: Daniel Stolte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: LUCIFER TELESCOPE and Catholicism
Dear Mr. Stolte:
Sorry to take your time with this, but I have been reading across the internet that the Vatican has purchased and named the new telescope Lucifer. Of course they are trying to link Catholicism with the devil. My understanding is that the Vatican Observatory Organization has no financial or controlling interest whatsoever in the new LBT telescope. An article in Popular Science magazine made the spurious connection and an internet legend was born.
If you could just let me know if it is true that the Vatican has not named or purchased this telescope, that would be helpful to end these silly rumors.
Thanks so much
Russ Rentler, M.D.
Dear Dr. Rentler,
Thank you for your email and your interest. I can ease your concerns – the Vatican Observatory has nothing to do with the LUCIFER project. LUCIFER is merely an acronym given to the instrument to shorten its name:
( Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research).
The instrument and all of its components are run by a consortium of astronomy researchers based in Germany. It is a mere coincidence that the Large Binocular Telescope, which houses the LUCIFER instrument, happens to be on the same location as the Vatican Observatory’s telescope (Mount Graham in Southeastern Arizona), but that is a different device and there is no connection to the Large Binocular Telescope or the LUCIFER instrument.
Hoping to have helped end the rumors and Yours sincerely,
Daniel Stolte, M.S.
The University of Arizona
888 N Euclid Ave. Rm. 413
P.O. Box 210158
Tucson, AZ 85721-0158
Phone (520) 626-4402
Fax (520) 626-4121
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